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Chapter 7 of "Some Changes Are Good"

10 minutes later, Jess and Donna were walking to Jess's house. Donna was carrying an overnight bag, and Jess was holding Donna's pillow and sleeping bag. A few minutes later, the girls arrived at Jess's house. Jess opened the door and Donna followed her inside. Donna looked around Jess's house. It was very modern looking - it reminded Donna of her old house. She followed Jessica down the hallway and into her bedroom. She tossed her bag on the bed and looked at Jess. "Now what?" she asked.

"Want to go online and chat?" Jess asked.

"Sure!" Donna answered. "I love going online." Jess sat down at the computer and pointed to a box on her dresser.

"Go pick out c.d.," she said to Donna as she booted the computer up. "We can listen to one while we chat." Donna walked over to the dresser, picked up the box and, and sat down on the bed with it. She opened the box and rummaged through the stack of c.d.'s. She picked up one in particular and looked at the cover.

"Hey look!" she said to Jess as she pointed to the picture on the c.d. cover. "That's Ike, Tay, and Zac!"

"Oh yeah," Jess said. "That's their album Middle of Nowhere. Want to hear it?"

"Definitely," Donna said as she handed the c.d. to Jess. She popped the c.d. in and a few seconds later, a song started playing. Donna instantly recognized Taylor's voice.

For the next hour or so, Jess and Donna chatted online, with the c.d. playing the whole time. The next morning, Donna woke up with MMMBop still in her head. Jess was already up, and was on the computer again. She turned around in her chair.

"Good afternoon," she said.

"Afternoon?" Donna asked sleepily.

"Yeah," Jess said. "It's 1:00 in the afternoon." Donna jumped up.

"I've got to go!!" she exclaimed. "I told my parents I would go with them to my grandparents at 1:00! Maybe they waited for me." Donna quickly packed up.

"Bye Jess!" she yelled as she ran out the front door. "Call you tomorrow!"

Donna raced home and was disappointed to find her driveway was empty, which meant her parents had left without her. Donna trudged inside and dropped her stuff on the floor. She walked into the kitchen, and sure enough, there was a note waiting for her on the table. "Donna, couldn't wait any longer. You know where we are. Be back around 10. Love you, Mom and Dad."

Donna sighed and looked out the kitchen window which faced the Hanson's backyard. She saw Taylor rollerblading in a half pipe. He looked pretty good. Donna went out the back door and walked into the Hanson's backyard. She walked over to Tay.

"Hey Taylor," she said. Tay, who was now sitting on the grass, kind of jumped. He turned around and smiled.

"Hi Donna. What's up?" he said.

"Not much," Donna answered as she sat beside him. "You look good," she said. "Rollerblading, I mean." Tay nodded.

"So where is everyone?" Donna asked.

"Let's see," Tay began. "Dad's at work, Mom took Jess, Avery and Mackie to the mall, and Ike took Zac somewhere." Donna smiled. "So you're home alone too," she said.

"Where's your parents?" Tay asked.

"Visiting my grandparents. I was supposed to go too, but I didn't get back from Jessica's in time." Donna answered.

"Oh. Too bad." Tay said. The two sat in silence for a few minutes, then Donna had an idea.

"You busy right now?" she asked Taylor.

"No," he answered. "Why?"

"Could you teach me how to rollerblade now?" she asked.

"Umm..sure! Why not? You have blades?" he asked. Donna nodded. "Okay, well, go get them and I'll be right over."

"Okay," Donna said as she started running back to her house.

Donna ran into her house and up to her room. She grabbed her rollerblades from her closet and walked over to her mirror. She picked up her brush and a srunchie, and brushed her hair back and pulled it into a ponytail. She heard the front door open and Tay's voice yelling up to her.

"You ready Donna?" he called.

"Be right down Tay!" Donna answered as she put her sandals on. She then raced down the stairs. "Let's go!" she said.

"Okay. The best place is probably the elementary school parking lot. It's right down the road." Tay said. Donna nodded, and they began walking in silence.

A few minutes later, a large building appeared. They walked down a small hill and into the parking lot. Donna glanced at the name of the school.

"Tulsa Elementary School," she remarked. "Very original." Taylor laughed as they sat down and put on their blades.

"Do you know how to go forward?" Tay asked as they stood up.

"Well," Donna began. But before she could finish her sentence, she fell backwards. Fortunately, Tay caught her and set her upright again.

"Thanks," Donna said. "I guess you could say that rollerblading doesn't exactly come naturally to me," Donna remarked as she almost fell again. "Here," Tay said as he stuck his hand out. "Hold my hand so you don't fall." Donna took his hand. Then Tay skated forward, pulling Donna behind him. After a few minutes, Donna felt she was ready to skate on her own.

"Okay," she said. "Let me try on my own." So Tay let go of her hand. Donna did fine for about 6 seconds until she realized she didn't know how to stop.

"Tay help!! I can't stop!!" she yelled as she skated out of control. Tay turned around, and saw Donna skating towards him. Suddenly Donna crashed right into Taylor and they both fell to the ground. Donna, while laying on top of Taylor grinned.

"Oops," she said as she rolled off. "I think that's enough rollerblading for today. I am not in the mood for breaking any bones today." Taylor laughed again.

"Okay, we'll try again another day." He looked at his watch. "It's only 3:00. Want to do something else?"

"Sure," Donna said. "My parents won't be until around 10."

"Cool. So what do you want to do?" Tay asked as they began walking back home.

"Well, don't you get mobbed wherever you go?" Donna asked. Taylor nodded.

"Yeah. It kind of makes it hard to go anywhere."

"Well, do you like computers, by any chance?" Donna asked.

"Are you kidding? I love them!" Taylor said.

"Me too!" Donna exclaimed. "How about you come over to my house and we can go online or something."

"That sounds cool," Tay said.

"Okay," Donna said as they approached her house. Both driveways were still empty. Donna pulled her key out of her pocket and unlocked the door.

"Just leave your blades by the door," Donna instructed Taylor. Taylor placed his rollerblades down and followed Donna upstairs. He followed her into her room.

"Nice room!" he said as he looked around.

"Thanks," Donna answered as she sat on her bed. Taylor spotted a keyboard in the corner of the room. He walked over to it.

"You play the keyboard?" he asked Donna. Donna nodded.

"Yeah, I've been playing for about 7 years."

"Wow! You must be pretty good!" Tay said. "Would you play something?"

"Sure," Donna said as she walked over to the keyboard. She sat on the stool facing it and Tay sat on the floor.

Donna started playing a complicated version of one of her favorite songs, "Somewhere Out There." She played it through, making no major mistakes. When she was finished, Tay stood up and started clapping.

"That was great!!" he said enthusiastically. "You're really good!"

"Thanks," Donna said. She looked out the window. "It looks like Ike and Zac are home," she said.

"Come on," Tay said as he took her hand. "I want them to hear you play."

Taylor dragged Donna out of her house and over to his. They went inside and upstairs to Tay's bedroom. Donna followed Taylor in and found that Ike, Tay and Zac shared a room. She also discovered that her bedroom window was right across from theirs.

"Hey Tay. Hey Donna," Ike said. "What's up?"

"Not much," Donna answered. "I just wowed Tay with my keyboard playing skills."

"You play the keyboard?" Zac asked.

"Yeah. I've been playing for about 7 years." Ike pointed to Tay's keyboard.

"Can you play for us?" he asked.

"Well, I don't have any music," Donna said. Taylor walked over to his dresser and pulled out some sheet music.

"Here," he said handing it to her. "You can play this. It's from our album."

Donna took it from Taylor and sat at the keyboard. She studied the music for a minute, then began playing "With You in Your Dreams". She played it well considering it was the first time she had seen it. When she was finished, the three boys clapped and Ike whistled.

"That was great!" Zac said.

"Yeah. You're really good!" Ike added. Donna blushed and smiled.

"Thanks," she said. "That is a really beautiful song. If you don't mind, Id like to borrow the music so I can learn it better."

"Sure," Tay said. "You can have it."

"Thanks," Donna said. She turned to Zac. "So where were you guys?" she asked him.

"Oh!" Zac exclaimed. "We forgot to tell you. We got a gig at the mall tomorrow!"

"Really?" Donna said. "That's great!" Taylor punched Zac in the arm.

"Why didn't you say anything?" he said. "We have to practice!"

"Tay, calm down." Ike said. "We can practice right now, if Donna doesn't mind that is."

"I don't mind at all," Donna said. "I would love to hear you guys play."

Ike, Tay, Zac and Donna went down to the basement. Donna sat on the couch while Ike, Tay and Zac warmed up.

"How about we play all the songs and then pick 4 or 5 to play at the mall," Ike said to his brothers. They nodded. "Okay in album order. 1, 2, 3!

Zac began banging the drums, and Taylor started playing the opening chords to "Thinking of You." Donna sat and listened to each song.

About 45 minutes later, Zac had just finished singing Lucy. Taylor began playing a solo on the keyboard. Donna recognized the song as her favorite off their album, "I Will Come to You". She loved the song. Taylor began singing. Donna had grown to recognize and love Taylor's voice. He sang with such feeling, it sent shivers down Donna's spine. A little while later, the boys finished playing all 13 songs, including Zac's "Man From Milwaukee." Donna stood up and clapped enthusiastically.

"That was great!!" she said.

"Well thank you. Thank you very much." Zac said impersonating Elvis Presley. Donna laughed.

"So which ones are you going to play at the mall?"

"Well," Ike began. "I was thinking definitely "MMMBop, and maybe 4 other songs. Which was your favorite?" He asked Donna.

"Well my favorite is "I Will Come to You" but I was thinking you should play all upbeat songs. Like "Where's the Love" and "A Minute Without You." But it's not my decision." "Well," Tay began. "I Will Come to You is a good song. We should play it. Who says all the songs we play have to be upbeat?" Ike shrugged.

"Okay, then we'll play it, he said. But we still need 3 more songs. We've got "MMMBop" and "I Will Come to You"." Zac jumped up.

"Don't I get a say in this?" he asked.

"Well what do you want to play?" Tay asked. Zac grinned.

"Lucy and Man From Milwaukee."

"Yeah right Zac. You only want to play them because you sing lead. Nice try." Ike said.

"Hey it was worth a shot!!" Zac yelled as sat back down on the floor.

"Okay I say we should play MMMBop, I Will Come to You, Where's the Love, A Minute Without You, and....." Taylor paused.

"MAN FROM MILWAUKEE!!!!" Zac screamed as he jumped up and ran over to Tay. He jumped on Tay's back and started begging. "Please, please, please, PLEASE can we play Man From Milwaukee???" Tay threw Zac onto the couch.

"FINE!!" he said in an annoyed voice. "We'll play Man From Milwaukee. Are you happy now?" Zac jumped up and down on the couch.

"YEAH!!! Now all the girls will come after me instead of Tay!!" Taylor blushed for a second then pounced on Zac. The two wrestled while Donna and Ike watched.

"You are so lucky you're an only child." Ike commented as they moved away from the commotion.

"Not really," Donna said. "It gets kinda lonely."

"Well, you're always welcome over here." Ike said.

"Thanks Ike! That means a lot to me."

"No problem." He glanced over at Taylor and Zac, who were still wrestling.

"You know, it's funny. I was so sure I wasn't going to make any friends here. It's so cool that I've made 4 friends already and it's still my first week living here." Donna said.

"Well, people are pretty friendly in Tulsa." Tay and Zac finished wrestling. "That was very entertaining," Donna commented. Taylor blushed and looked down. Zac tried to pounce on Taylor again, but Tay was too quick. He moved aside as Zac crashed to the floor. Donna, Ike and Tay laughed. Zac looked up with a huge grin on his face.

"Oops."

"Ike what time is it?" Donna asked. Ike glanced at his watch.

"9:30," he said.

"I better go," Donna said. "My parents will be home soon." She walked towards the stairs.

"Wait!" Tay said. "Do you want to come with us tomorrow? You could probably introduce us or something, if you're not doing anything." Donna nodded enthusiastically.

"That sounds great!" she said. "You sure it's ok?" Ike and Zac nodded.

"Sure. Umm...how about we pick you up at 10." Ike said.

"That sounds good," Donna said. "See you guys tomorrow!"

"Bye Donna!" the guys yelled.

Donna ran upstairs and out the door. She walked over to her house and found her parents still weren't home. She pulled her key our of her pocket and let herself in. She trudged upstairs and into her bedroom. She glanced out the window and saw the guys bedroom was dark.

"Probably still practicing," she thought as she plopped down on her bed.



Chapter 8: